Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase should be top 2021 NFL Draft target

2021 NFL mock draft - Ja'Marr Chase. Mandatory Credit: LSU Athletics/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network
2021 NFL mock draft - Ja'Marr Chase. Mandatory Credit: LSU Athletics/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

The Detroit Lions have already made a ton of noise in the 2021 offseason, hiring new head coach Dan Campbell as well as trading former number one pick Matthew Stafford for another former number one pick in Jared Goff.

With only six selections at this point in time in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Lions are in desperate need of additional draft capital, but it might not come at the expense of their seventh overall pick in the first round.

While the Lions could be a prime candidate to trade down off of that selection to accumulate picks, they should also be considered a prime landing spot for former LSU star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

Chase has WR1 type traits and could be a star in the NFL sooner rather than later.

This statistic factors in two seasons for Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and just one season for Ja’Marr Chase, who opted out of the 2020 campaign after winning the Biletnikoff Award as a sophomore in 2019.

Chase caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards in 2019 with 20 touchdowns while averaging over 21 yards per reception. When he was in single coverage, he absolutely feasted.

Why are the Detroit Lions an obvious fit for Chase as he moves to the next level? Right now, they have only Quintez Cephus under contract at wide receiver for the 2021 season.

Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola are all slated for free agency. Jared Goff was criticized pretty heavily in his time with the Rams where he had no shortage of weapons to work with. In Detroit, he’s got Cephus and tight end TJ Hockenson.

The Lions could very well franchise tag or re-sign Kenny Golladay, but adding a player like Ja’Marr Chase could be essential for them either way. With the type of attention a player like Golladay commands, Chase would be able to work with a lot more of those one-on-one situations and he doesn’t just do his best work deep downfield.

Chase is as competitive after the catch as he is competing for the ball at the catch point. He’s not a carbon copy of Calvin Johnson or anything, but Chase is almost built like a running back and he has tremendous strength in his lower body to be able to power through initial contact.

If Dan Campbell is looking for receivers who are going to be taking kneecaps, Ja’Marr Chase could be the ideal fit in the 2021 NFL Draft.